Archive for the Dear Mr. Energy Category

Mr. Energy becomes Ms. Green

Dear Ms. Green, Are you the person formerly known as Mr. Energy? If so, what happened? Did you have a sex change operation? Open-minded in Oxford Dear Open-minded, Bless your heart! You are too funny. No, Mr. Energy did not have a sex change operation, but yes, Ms. Green is the same person formerly known […]

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Do I have to change my air filters every month?

Dear Mr. Energy, Do I really have to change my air filters every month? —Trying to Save a Buck in Bonlee Dear Trying to Save, Yes. Your nasal passages will thank you and your HVAC system won’t have to work as hard. Also, your house will be less dusty. All good things. As far as […]

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Is sustainability a bad word?

Howdy folks – The following “Mr. Energy” column was written in response to some recent actions by our newly elected county commissioners. Apparently one of them has a bee in his bonnet about the word sustainability – he doesn’t like it. I’m really unclear WHY he thinks sustainability is a bad word, as I explain below, […]

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Dear Mr. Energy: Energy Star after the home is built?

Dear Mr. Energy, I just built a super-green home (super tight attic and walls, foam insulation, low VOC paints, brand new low-E windows, and tightly sealed ducts)and I want to know how to get it rated Energy Star! My utility will give me a discount on my electricity rate if it’s an Energy Star home, […]

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Dear Mr. Energy: weatherizing a mobile home?

Dear Mr. Energy, My grandparents live in a double-wide mobile home built in 1972. As they are on a fixed income and they are comfortable in their home it’s unlikely that they’ll be moving any time soon, but they seem to be spending a lot of money to heat and air-condition their space. Do you […]

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Dear Mr. Energy: Quick and cheap home energy fixes I can do myself?

Dear Mr. Energy, I have an energy audit scheduled for next month, but in the meantime ere there any quick and cheap things I can do around my house to be more energy efficient? —Want to Save in Wendell Dear Want to Save, You are speaking Mr. Energy’s language with this question. First, you’ve scheduled […]

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Dear Mr. Energy: tax credits and rebates for 2011

Dear Mr. Energy, Are there any new tax credits or rebates for energy audits or weatherization for 2011? I really want to work on making my house more energy efficient this year but I want to make the most of my money. —Budget conscious in Bonlee Dear Budget, The answer is yes! And no. Yes, […]

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Dear Mr. Energy: How to weatherize windows?

Dear Mr. Energy, What are some things I can do to my windows in lieu of replacing them? Breezy in Burlington Dear Breezy, So glad you asked that question! If you’ve read any of Mr. Energy’s earlier columns, you’ll know that I do not consider window replacement as a top priority for most homeowners who […]

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Dear Mr. Energy: how to lower my holiday energy bills?

Dear Mr. Energy, Last holiday season our electric bill went way up. We had several get-togethers and obviously the lights on our house and our tree had some impact, but the increase seemed out of proportion to what actually went on.  How can we use less energy this holiday season? And are LED lights really […]

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Dear Mr. Energy: What’s a closed crawl space?

Dear Mr. Energy, What is a closed crawl space? Do I need one? —Crawling around in Chapel Hill Dear Crawling, A closed crawl space is a crawl space (the area found underneath your house and which is typically floored with dirt and vented to the outdoors) that has been air-sealed. A closed crawl can provide […]

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